As the prejudice against women writers was quite strong, Shelley determined to publish the first edition anonymously. Despite this fact, the novel's unprecedented success paved the way for some of the most prominent women writers of the nineteenth century, including George Eliot, George Sand, and the Bronte sisters. All of them owed Mary a tremendous literary debt. Without the pioneering work of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, a great many female authors might never have taken up their pens; they might never have felt free to exhibit dark imagination, nor to engage in philosophical reflection. Without her, and the women whose work she made possible, English literature would be unquestionably the poorer.